This past Sunday, all of Hollywood Geek-Royalty gathered at the Avalon Theatre in Hollywood for the 1st Annual Geekie Awards. The entire event was dreamed up by the ever-talented Kristen Nedopak who was looking for a way to support indie geek art. While many of the smaller awards were announced ahead of time on their website (http://www.thegeekieawards.com/), several of the larger awards were given away in a live ceremony that live-streamed across the world. Plenty of geek celebs were on hand, including Stan Lee himself who received the first ever Geekie Award and serenaded the crowd with a song he wrote about being a geek for life.
For those lucky audience members sitting in the tables near the stage, 3D printers were working all night making custom art. I was able to see them printing away all evening and they provided people with a lot of entertainment (except for the “party table” up front who broke theirs early on).
I was privileged enough to be invited to attend as a cosplayer and even got to be onstage in my steampunk Maleficent costume to hand over the award for the Best One Shot category with Chris Gore and Keahu Kahuanui. There were plenty of amazing cosplayers on hand to entertain the crowd, take photos with and add further geek cred to the evening.
There were plenty of logistical issues throughout the evening, but considering this was a large-scale first year event, things went reasonably smoothly and the crowd seemed to enjoy the evening overall. The biggest gaff of the night came from the young (and very excited) Winner twins while presenting the award for Retail Stores and Websites. The nominee package and category name were skipped entirely, but thankfully the winners from the Nerd Machine stepped in and filled in the blank for the audience.
The pre-filmed skit that kicked off the evening and the videos preceeding each set of nominees were spectacularly done and added a real professional air to the evening. The inclusion of Best Webseries nominees the League of S.T.E.A.M. throughout the evening was also quite entertaining, especially when they used their famous net get to snag a zombie coming after host Alison Haislip.
Kudos to all involved with the evening and the events leading up to it. I for one will be curious to see how the show evolves in the future and hope that next year’s event will be even better!
A couple of weekends ago I had the great privilege of hanging out with the crew of the USS Loma Prieta (http://usslomaprieta.org/), a Star Trek-centered science fiction fan club based out of San Francisco. I attended their Battlestations event, which was a fundraiser for the club featuring game play of the Artemis star ship bridge simulator (http://www.artemis.eochu.com/
The event was held at WeWork Labs in SF, which was a nice space and perfectly suited to the event. The space allowed for two full Artemis crews to work together and co-op a mission. There was also a set up for a training bridge to help people new to the game get acquainted with the controls. The Artemis stations are very similar to the standard Star Trek bridge stations: Captain, helm, science, weapons, engineering, and communications. Each game takes 6 players on networked computers to work together with both their consoles and their physical communications to beat the game.
The simulation is awesome. That is actually the best word to describe it. Each console UI looks very different from the rest, and the game play itself is very realistic (based on my experiences as an actual starship captain). I suppose the next step in making it even more realistic would be to sync the Artemis game with a motion simulator under the bridge to simulate ship movement and enemy hits. Each crew member has a different, yet important job. Just like a real starship voyage, the crew is conducted by the captain.
One of the missions I played had my crew protecting our space stations from enemy attacks. I manned the communications station, and shouted incoming messages to the Captain through a microphone. I also participated in the Artemis version of Star Trek‘s “Kobayashi Maru” training exercise, which if you’re familiar with Star Trek, you will know is a no-win scenario. Needless to say, we didn’t win. My crew did last 7 minutes against the enemy ships, though!
The USS Loma Prieta puts on these events periodically for the public, but they also run Artemis sims as well as other Trek-related activities at their meetings. You can follow the USS Loma Prieta on Twitter at (https://twitter.com/
If you’re interested in the game but want to play at home or aren’t located in the Bay Area, you can purchase Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator for yourself! There is a free demo available on the Artemis website as well (http://www.artemis.eochu.com/
For the curious, here is a video from last year interviewing some of the USS Loma Prieta crew and showcasing some Artemis game play. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?
A few hours ago, The BBC announced who the 12th Doctor will be in the hit series, Doctor Who. So that means at this point that the entire internet knows. In case you’re new to the ‘Who, however, here’s a little info to clue you in. The 50th anniversary episode is coming up around Christmas time (that’s not 50 episodes, just for clarity, that’s 50 years since the series started), and current front-runner, Matt Smith, announced about two months ago that he was leaving the show at that time. If you listened carefully in that moment, you would have heard the thud of millions of Whovian hearts breaking a little bit, in unison.
However, that is the nature of the story: Timelords regenerate, and the story goes on. Today, we are welcoming Peter Capaldi as the twelfth Doctor to grace the series. Capaldi has had a long, celebrated career, and is welcomed with open arms by many fans. Just in case you need a little convincing, or are having trouble placing him, here are a just a couple roles you’re likely to remember him from.
John Frobisher was the Permanent Secretary to the Home Office and Torchwood Three’s liaison to the British government. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Two) He was later appointed informal ambassador to the 456. Passionate and driven, his job became increasingly difficult when all around him began to shirk any responsibility for the disaster that was unfolding.
This TV mini-series, based on the beautiful and brilliant novel by Neil Gaiman, aired in 1996, and also starred Gary Bakewell, Laura Fraser, and Clive Russell.
The band starred a young Peter Capaldi on vocals with an equally young Libby McArthur guesting on backing vocals (who was singer in, the pre His Latest Flame, Sophisticated Boom Boom with Jaqeuline Bradley). Temple Clark on Bass Guitar & Robert Livsey on Drums completed the line up. Trivia fact-Comedian Craig Ferguson had also played drums with The Dreamboys.
This little bit of trivia is just plain fun.
And, of course, like seemingly most British television actors at this point, Capaldi has already been in an episode of Doctor Who. Funny enough, it’s the same episode in which Karen Gillan first made her appearance on the show (as a cultist / soothsayer), long before she took on the role of Amy Pond.
Lucius Caecilius Iucundus was a man who lived in Pompeii before Vesuvius erupted in 79. Husband of Metella and father to Evelina and Quintus, Caecilius was a marble trader with political ambitions.
Of course, Capaldi has been in many, many other things throughout the course of his career, and even played the W.H.O. Doctor in the recent zombie flick, World War Z. I’m sure he will, no doubt, be a wonderful addition to the show. Still, it would have been nice to see a new face on the show, especially a less traditional one (I think we all considered Idris Elba at one point or another, right?).
Although, while I anxiously await Capaldi’s Doctor portrayal, personally, I really would have like to have seen Damien Molony take on the role.
I guess we’ll just have to see how things go with the Christmas Special on November 23rd.
Happy Sunday, everyone.
Recently, Forbes.com published an article about what to wear to E3 This article was was only aimed toward women, and was amazingly offensive. Now, if you click that link you’ll see that there’s a disclaimer at the top of the article. Hilariously, after the backlash they received, they removed the offending points. While I have to applaud them for listening to the feedback, I also find it appalling that they clearly didn’t do any research on the demographic they were trying to reach with that article to begin with – and the fact that they don’t stand by their opinions. Let’s see a quote from that original article before the edit:
If you’ve been to E3 before, you know the challenge. How do you convey credibility in promoting your game, your studio and yourself at the convention in a room full of guys gawking at larger-than-life, theme-park-like attractions and scantily clad ‘booth babes’?
Many women prefer to keep a low profile with “non booth babe” wear – like a baggy t-shirt and jeans. But in an industry trying to attract more female gamers, its worthwhile to spend some time thinking about how what you wear can help you stand out as the savvy gaming industry expert that you are.
Looks like someone just learned the term “booth babe.”
E3 may have come and gone, but there are still plenty of conventions planned for the rest of the year, and the fact that a company as prominent as Forbes would post something like this at all is important.
Women: your credibility is not defined by your wardrobe. Your credibility should be dependent on your merits, not your appearance. Of course specific situations will require a specific dress-code; in general, if you are good at what you do, it doesn’t matter if you have green hair and cleavage. People will listen when you speak. Do not allow anyone to treat you differently based purely on what you’re wearing. Especially at a convention.
Men (and woman, in fact): you should be treating people you encounter with equal respect, no matter what they’re wearing. All people. If you judge her by her t-shirt, you could be missing out on your new favorite artist. If you judge him by his facial piercings, who knows, you may lose the chance to meet to best programmer in the room. You do not get to slut-shame women or men for their bare skin or for cosplaying. Making snap judgments about someone based on their appearance will only make you lose out on that person’s best qualities. If you want to improve your sexual act make sure you try hyper male force.
On “Booth Babes”: it’s true that the gaming industry has a history of employing attractive women, dressing them scantily, and using them to bait young men into visiting their booths at cons. However, this is 2013, and these companies aren’t stupid. You will see a dramatic shift in the coming years of these companies hiring knowledgeable, personable people to represent their products. Do not assume that just because you see an attractive woman is at a booth at a convention means she’s only there to look pretty, and knows nothing about the brand she’s representing. After all, you wouldn’t see Jamie Dillion at a convention, and assume they’re know-nothing booth babes, would you? No. They’re professional women who are integral parts of the companies they represent, and obtained their positions by being the best at what they do. Don’t let an antiquated gender idea sully your idea of how you want to present yourself, and certainly don’t let any silly slut-shaming prevent you from cosplaying your favorite character.
I think it’s time we start thinking more about having a good time at the conventions we attend, and worry less about being mistaken for booth babes. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some tips that might actually help you while you attend a convention. Don’t worry, fashion geeks, I’ll still include a couple of outfits for inspiration.
Tips for Attending a Con:
- Wear Comfy Shoes. Throughout any convention, you will be on your feet for hours a day, usually multiple days in a row. Bring a pair of shoes that you won’t worry about getting scuffed up, stepped on by other people, or getting dirty. It’s also a good idea to carry a back-up just in case.
- Drink Plenty of Water and Don’t Forget to Eat. There is a ton of excitement involved in going to a con, and sticking to panel and presentation schedules can make for very little free time. Plan ahead, and take a look at what food options will be near you, set alarm reminders for mealtimes on your cell phone, and carry a bottle of water with you everywhere. You don’t want to wind up dizzy and tired by 4pm just because you forgot to eat lunch.
- Carry Business Cards. If you’re in the industry, or hoping to network in any way, bring plenty of business cards. Don’t be pushy about giving them out, but do be creative. Conventions can be the absolutely best place to hob-knob with fellow industry workers, and make some helpful friends. Make sure you have something to give them, and make it impressive.
- Bring A Bag. Hitting the booths, you’ll encounter a ton of fliers, cards, posters, and prints. This doesn’t even include the various memorabilia and items you may purchase while you’re there, or the personal items you may need to bring with you. Be smart, and bring something to carry those things in. A tote bag is a cheap, easy way to address this issue, but a messenger bag might be more durable and have more handy pockets.
- Things to Carry in That Bag: band-aids, snacks, water, cell phone, charger/extra battery, extra pair of shoes, light jacket, camera, deodorant, mini sewing kit. You’d be surprised how often these items might come in handy. It’s possible you’ll never need any of them, but when you do, you’ll be glad you have them. Sidenote about the camera: not all venues will let you bring in a camera, so check the rules of the event before attending (this actually goes for all items), but you never know when you might run into a photo op – either an amazing cosplay of your favorite video game character, or maybe your favorite actor. Come prepared, you may never get that opportunity again!
- Plan and Check in with Your Buddy. The buddy system isn’t just for elementary school. It’s easy to lose your group in a large crowd, and people can easily go missing. If you’re with a friend or a group of friends, plan ahead to meet at certain places at certain times. Make sure everyone gets where they’re going safely, and be sure everyone has everyone else’s phone numbers in case of emergencies.
- Plot Your Course. There’s a lot to see at a convention, and you don’t want to miss out on some key opportunities. Figure out what panels you want to attend, and buy any applicable tickets early. Plot out which booths you absolutely want to visit, and find them on the floor map. Allow for plenty of time in line – it could very well be hours. You don’t need to be militant about your planning, but if you have a general plan in place, you’ll be more likely to see everything that you want to.
- Bring a Book. You may have to sit in line for a very long time at a busy con. Bring something to keep yourself occupied – whether it’s a good novel, a thick graphic novel, or a Sudoku book, make sure you won’t be bored. Or, you could always make new friends around you!
- Shower and Deodorant are Your Best Friends! Personal hygiene should be common sense, but you’d be surprised. If you’ve ever been to a packed convention, you truly know the stink of body odor. Try to be considerate of those around you, and boost your own confidence by showering every day, and wearing deodorant and clean clothes.
Tips for Dressing at a Con:
Now, we’re not going to tell you that you shouldn’t show skin, dress provocatively, or really dress any way beyond how you want to in public. That’s nobody’s place but yours. However, we can give you some words of wisdom about being prepared for an event in how you dress. This tips go for both men and women.
- Check the Weather. Look at the forecast for the days and locations that you’ll be out at a con. Even if it’s an indoor convention, keep travel and after-events in mind. If it’s going to rain, bring a small umbrella just in case. If it’s going to be cold later in the evening, bring a light jacket to be on the safe side.
- Wear Layers. A packed convention hall can get gross and sweaty in an instant. If you wear a couple thin layers, you can add or remove them to adjust to your comfort level at any moment.
- Flexible Clothing is Key. You’ll be moving around a lot, and don’t want your clothes to be restrictive. Wear something you’ll be comfortable in either sitting in a convention hall for a couple hours, or running to catch a bus.
- Keep Your Items Close. Just like tips for visiting new cities, keep your personal belonging close to your body. While we hope everyone we come in contact with will be honest, you still need to account for the possibility that you might drop or lose something. If you have a bag that closes, or pockets that zip, use them.
- Plan Ahead with Costumes. If you’re wearing a costume, make sure it’s something you’re not going to get hot, sweaty, or uncomfortable after a few hours. Also make sure you build yourselves some pockets or a clever carrying case (for example: if you’re cosplaying Chell from Portal, maybe make yourself a purse in the shape of a companion cube). Also, make sure any items you intend to bring to enhance your costume don’t go against the convention rules. If you’re cosplaying Gordon Freeman, it’s probably best not to bring a crowbar. You may also want to bring a change of clothes in case of emergency or if you want to change for after parties.
Any way you go, let your geek flag fly. As promised, here are a couple con-inspired outfits that might help you build your own ensemble.
Batman Inspired Con Outfit (note the tennis shoes for running around, the bag for collecting items, and the simple accessories):
The three films – Mad Max (1979), Mad Max Road Warrior (1982) and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) – are all set in the near-future in Australia. From the very first film, Oscar® winner George Miller (Happy Feet, 2006) proved a master at creating the gritty, bleak dystopian world and staging the incredible car stunts and crashes in the era when stuntmen, not computers, achieved the effects. All three movies starred Mel Gibson, virtually unknown until after the second film, as Max Rockatansky, a highway cop traveling through the Outback in a society descending into chaos. The films started Gibson on his road to international superstardom, led to his signature Lethal Weapon series, and later two Academy Awards® for his roles as producer and director of Braveheart (1995).
The Mad Max Trilogy is well known for its incredible action sequences, despite the obviously low budgets. The plot line of the series is very reminiscent of Spaghetti Westerns, but spawned the iconic idea of the Thunderdome. I think we all have to hand it to stunt director, Grant Page (who performed stunts, himself, in both the first and third installments). After all, the “Saw” scene from the first movie was widely considered one of the more nail-bitingly tense scenes of decade when it was released. Check out the scene leading up to the gore (no gore directly included here, I promise):
If you’ve never seen the trilogy, and enjoy action, you’re severely missing out. If you have seen it, and want to again, now’s your chance. You can now own it on Blu-Ray (and it happens to be on sale at this very moment – just sayin’). It even comes in a really nifty metal case. Definitely a great item for a collector.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls… Dyin’ time’s here.
Planning on hitting up Stan Lee’s Comikaze this year? You should be. This year looks like it’s going to be spectacular. Just the comic, scifi, gaming, fantasy, anime, and horror expo you’d expect to see from Stan Lee. Take a look into what’s in store for this year:
I love that Dot Com will be there. I hope he gets plenty of “No one can hear you, Dot Com!” jokes.
All in all, it looks like a fantastic lineup, and tickets are now on sale. Beyond that, we have some insider info that they’re having a 72-hour sale on tickets right now. So if you’re planning on going, now’s the time to check out your options – weekend passes, in particular, are a great deal today.
In my many journeys through the internet, I stumbled across something awesome, and thought it deserved to be shared. Catherine Gretschel with Aisha Voya Creations makes these intricately glittered geeky shoes by hand. Men, do not get disheartened, for I have picked out some slides for a man.
Not only are they very expertly done, but she has such a fun geeky collection. Take a look:
All of those pics lead to the actual shoes, and it looks like she has a ton of sizing options. Take a look at her shop for other fun geekness: http://www.etsy.com/shop/aishavoya
Burlesque as we know it now has been around since the mid-1800s but in the past several years has been making a roaring comeback across the board. Over time multiple demographics have flocked to try their hand at adding their own style and flare to the art form. Maybe it’s because we live in Seattle, maybe it’s the rising public face of Nerd culture, but regardless the reason, this city has been the home of multiple nerdy burlesque shows.
NERDZ, aptly named and hosted by the lovely Violet Deville (@VioletDeVille ) at the Rendezvous’ Jewel Box Theatre, was one of these selfsame shows.
The Rendezvous is a familiar place, even if you’ve never been there. It has that glorious divey feel without making you worry about needing to sanitize your hands every time you touch anything. While perhaps not a ‘well-lighted place’, it’s clean and friendly and even Hemmingway would easily make himself comfortable.
Just past the bar and to the right you’ll find the entrance to the Jewel Box Theatre. It’s a cozy space with a stage perfect for small cast performances. From the moment I gave my name at will-call, it was clear this was not your average show as I was asked to produce an appendage and ‘roll for stamp damage’ when my wrist was marked.
Violet Wilde (or @lilyorit as I know her), was not only the reason I found myself at that particular location that night, but was also our fantastic Mistress of Ceremonies. With a bubbly and endearing charm, she along with her two stage assistants, D and D, both provided entertaining introductions and ran a raffle to The performances were all tributes to various fandoms celebrated in nerd culture and spanned across multiple ranges of skill level and styles.
The audience fell into laughter at the delightfully campy rendition of Indiana Jones featuring the talented Scandal from Bohemia.
We were awed into silence at Stella Vaughn’s haunting depiction of Leeloo from the cult classic The Fifth Element when she performed an erotic ballet to the opera featured in the film.
We witnessed Morgue Anne’s slow motion take on Super Girl’s quick change inside the phone booth.
We had our childhood memories both resurface and oddly violated with Violet Deville’s performance set to the Muppet Show theme which ended in a quite the grand finale that showcased a replica of Gonzo’s nose right between… well you get the idea.
Some of my favorite moments included two performances by Tempest who showed a wide range of skill in dance, from a completely improvised piece which featured staccato movement and snake-like undulations to an elegant and articulate belly dance set perfectly to music.
Two other highlights for me included a breathtaking Firefly themed feather fan dance from Sailor St. Claire and a hilarious chipt-tunes rap tribute to 8-bit games by Bolt Action where every detail seemed covered in dedication to his theme–right down to the 8-bit “diamond” pasties glued to his nipples. Hands down the only man I’ve ever seen able to walk off the stage with that much dignity in only his converse, sunglasses and underoos.
However my favorite performance of the night was hands down the last. While they were all lovely and fabulous and worthy of an individual review themselves, Scarlet O’Hairdye’s Dr. Who themed performance won me over completely. From the skit that preceded her burlesque performance where she wandered in dressed remarkably like a female Tom Baker to how closely she kept to this theme not just by costume, but song, routine and props. There was never a moment where you could have not understood what she was parodying and I have to admit, using the 4th Doctor’s obscenely long scarf as a regular burlesque show might use a feather boa was charmingly clever.
All in all, while every live show has its technical difficulties, or the performers nerves show through, I would highly recommend a nerdy burlesque show if you have the chance. Support these Confident nerdy women expressing their love for fandoms through the art of comedy, dance and erotica.
In short: I had a frakkin good time and would highly recommend it.
For more information about upcoming shows run by Violet Deville, visit her website http://violetdeville.com.
MinInterview: Ethan Nicholle
Interviewer: Jenn Zuko Boughn
Recently I had the very great pleasure of using my 5-question “Mininterview” format to ask Ethan Nicholle about upcoming Axe Cop vol. 3, and the future of the series. ~Prof. Jenn
1) How has Axe Cop evolved as Malachai has gotten older? How do you see him evolving as Malachai continues to get older? What’s coming up in Axe Cop’s future that we can get excited about?
Malachai’s tastes and interests are changing pretty rapidly, so Axe Cop’s attention span is at about the same rate. Whatever is going on in Malachai’s life makes it into the story, for instance the family just got a new dog, so he called me to tell me there is a new dog character in the Axe Cop universe. I’m as interested as anyone to see how Axe Cop changes as Malachai grows up. I’m open to whatever works. The most exciting thing in Axe Cop’s future, next to Volume 3 coming out on March 28th, is the new print-exclusive miniseries titled Axe Cop: President of the World which launches in July.
2) Axe Cop’s fan base exploded pretty quickly. How did this fandom affect how you composed Axe Cop? Did it affect how Malachai composed it? How about the feedback you both have been getting at conventions?
It just sort of rocketed us into making more Axe Cop and really fast. When I first made Axe Cop I assumed it would be a fun thing to do with Malachai whenever I visit (which is about 3 times a year). When it blew up, I decided we should strike while the iron is hot and start making more of these things. It became a lot of fun and quite an interesting project. Especially working on the more long form stories with him and spending entire months with him. We get awesome feedback from fans, the support for Axe Cop is huge and people who love it REALLY love it. I think there are people out there who love it more than Malachai and I combined. I think that Axe Cop popped up right when people were getting tired of the more negative, gritty and edgy style that was the “thing” for a while, and Axe Cop is such a breath of fresh air in that world. It is totally sincere and innocent and it inadvertently parodies comics that take themselves too seriously.
3) I noticed in Volume 3, there are many “Ask Axe Cop” episodes as well as a lengthy guest appearance (on the website, there have been several more guest appearances recently as well). What are your thoughts/feelings about the collaboration? Do the guests appeal to Malachai, and does he springboard off of those?
Malachai has gotten ideas from the guest episodes. He really liked the one where Axe Cop has little axes on his arm hairs. He pretty much stole that concept for himself and made Axe Cop have sword arm hair. The guest episodes are a lot of fun, especially the ones where people follow the model and team up with their own kids/nieces/nephews to make an Axe Cop story.
4) How do Axe Cop, Bad Guy Earth, and Bearmageddon inform each other? Do you have a particular favorite issue?
Well Bad Guy Earth is just more Axe Cop, but it is written in a longer format. It’s more of our attempt at “feature length” Axe Cop story telling. Bearomageddon I wouldn’t say is informed by Axe Cop much mainly because I created it before I created Axe Cop, I only finally started to release it after. I think Bad Guy Earth is my favorite thing I have done so far just because it is so out of the box and such a fun/crazy experiment in creativity. A lot went into making it.
5) Who are some of your artistic inspirations? Is there anyone you even now try to emulate in your work? What is one of your artistic dreams? (e.g. have you always wanted to draw a certain superhero/create a world that you haven’t yet?)
My biggest influences growing up were Bill Watterson, Gary Larson and the many artists who drew the Ninja Turtles. Later I got into indie comics and became a big fan of artists like Jhonen Vasquez, Evan Dorkin, Ethan Van Sciver (who was indie back then) and Sam Keith. I have a lot of respect for Doug TenNapel because I like that he emphasizes storytelling and he really pushes creativity and wonder in his work. I think I try to emulate that. I have never really dreamed of drawing other people’s characters, I have always wanted to make my own stuff. So I don’t know what my dream project would be. I think right now Axe and Bearmageddon are dream projects, and I’ll have other ones down the road.
As many of you may know by now (mostly if you have read some of my other posts), I am a metal girl with a soft spot for punk, and throw in a few British pop bands from time to time. I do enjoy a bit of folk music sometimes if my it fits my mood. But on the whole its Prog Rock and Metal for this lady! That’s why I am so surprised that I cannot stop listening to Taylor Swift’s Safe & Sound featuring The Civil Wars from the Hunger Games soundtrack. I most definitely would not have given this song a chance if it weren’t for its association with a movie that I am eagerly awaiting. But now that I have, there is no turning back. I’ve added The Civil Wars to my Spotify rotation and I’ve even been YouTubing (don’t want to mess with my last.fm stats!) some Taylor Swift songs to see if this is a one off thing or if I could possibly add her to my rotation.
Check it out: